Tiger Woods addressed questions in the Bahamas about Jay Monahan, Rory McIlroy, the PIF, TGL Golf and the Ryder Cup – here is what he had to say…
Tiger Woods addressed the media at the Hero World Challenge on Tuesday following a long absence.
You can say that again.
Woods answered questions on a plethora of issues in the Bahamas ahead of his first competitive appearance since the Masters.
Joe LaCava, his caddie with whom he won at Augusta in 2019, has switched bags to Patrick Cantlay since April.
During his recovery from surgery after withdrawing at Augusta, the 47-year-old was appointed as a player director to the PGA Tour Policy Board.
Woods’ appointment followed the tour’s announcement of an intended deal with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
A number of players were surprised at this announcement in June, and none of them were involved in negotiations with various representatives of the tour and the PIF.
Much has changed since Woods was in tour action, so he addressed topic after topic about golf’s landscape, and his own landscape:
Tiger Woods comeback press conference
Is he concerned about playing four rounds at the Hero World Challenge?
“I’m not concerned at all about walking it. I don’t have any of the ankle pain I had with the hardware that’s been placed in my foot. That’s all gone, it’s the other parts of my body.
“My knee hurts, my back. The forces go somewhere else, just like when I had my back fused.”
Recovering from surgery
“The hard part is the six months of doing nothing. That’s the hard part. The first couple of months were really rough, but unfortunately, I’ve had the experience I’ve gone through before and I’m here on the good side now.”
His reaction to the framework agreement between the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund – and the progress since…
“I would say my reaction was surprised, just like I’m sure a lot of the players were taken back by it – what had happened so quickly and without any input or any kind of information about it.
“It was just thrown out there. I was very surprised that the process was what it was. We were very frustrated with what happened and we took steps going forward to ensure that the player involvement – we were not going to be left out of the process like we were.
“December 31 is coming up very quickly, so there’s a timetable there. We would like to implement some of these changes that have not taken place.
“The guys – all the player directors have spent so many hours and worked tireless hours to make sure that we have the best deal for all the players involved on the entire PGA Tour.
“All the parties are talking and aggressively working on trying to get a deal done. We’re all trying to make sure that the process is better too as well and so implementation of governance is one of the main topics – getting the deal done and making sure it gets done the right way.
“We have multiple options, but still, we would like to have a deal done on December 31. That’s what the agreement said in the summer and all parties understand that. But, there are other options out there.”
Tiger’s assessment of PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan
“I think Jay has been a part of the direction. He understands that what happened prior to that can’t happen again and it won’t happen again.
“Not with the players that are involved and not with the player directors having the role that we have.
“I do have faith in Jay and (with) what he could do going forward and what can’t happen again.”
Rory McIlroy resigning from the PGA Tour Policy Board
“I totally understand why Rory made that decision. We put a lot of effort and time into the Delaware meeting – getting everyone aligned for that and going from there and the next couple of years of involvement or the conflict in golf.
“And then his participation at the highest level – he was in contention in almost every tournament he played in and he was a spokesperson at the same time, so that was very difficult on him personally and I totally understand.”
Could Tiger be the US Ryder Cup captain in 2025?
“There’s too much at stake with our tour to think about the Ryder Cup right now. We have to get this done and we have to be focused on this right now.”
Looking back on Hat-gate and the Ryder Cup pay argument
“What transpired there is, it was media, it was just noise. And then the fact that everyone now carries a mobile device and that was able to spread and you’re not on home soil.
“And so anytime, they’re going to try and get in your head and that’s what they tried to do. I totally get it – the emotions and we all want to win and you have a home side and an opposing side.
“You’re going to get heat and that’s what happened.”
A caddie for 2024, and what could a schedule look like?
“I got Rob (McNamara) this week – as far as next year, I don’t know yet. I don’t think Charlie’s going to be able to caddie. He can’t play hooky that often, so I don’t know. Honestly, I really don’t know.
“I think the best scenario would be a tournament a month. I think that’s realistic. Whether that is – maybe you’d have to start with the Genesis and then play something in March – maybe The Players, and again, we have a set-up right now where the biggest events are once per month.
“I need to get myself ready for all of that and I think this week is a big step in that direction.
“I love competing. I love playing. I miss being out here with the guys. I miss the camaraderie and the fraternity-like atmosphere out here and the overall banter, but what drives me is I love to compete.
“There will come a point in time, I haven’t come around to it fully yet that I won’t be able to win again. When that day comes, I’ll walk.”
TGL Golf’s delay until 2025
“It was moving very quickly and I think we can take advantage of the time delay. I think we can do it right and I think all the parties that are involved really feel that this is going to be the best thing for it.
“So many partners and so many people that are involved in this league have had so much brand experience and they want to get it right and have gotten it right – they’re billionaires.
“So I think that if we’re able to capture that, I think going into 2025, it will be positive for all of us.”
It’s another Tiger Woods-Hero World Challenge return, but how many times do you think he will play in 2024? Tell us on X!